As I have been working on a book about our generation, I have observed many things (from a Christian worldview). One of the things I have been wondering is if our generation has been forced to be a more honest one?
Since the dawn of social media, people's lives have been on display. People used to hide photos they didn't want others to see or would censor things that they would say, but it seemed almost inevitable that someone would tag them in an unwanted photo or would share something on their wall that they previously would have been mortified that they would share.
Since crowd control is a little more difficult now in days, it seems like people have almost given up trying to display two separate lives- and are a bit more honest (not saying they are 100% honest about who they are and what they do, but are more so than in previous times because of technological forces).
I think this is good and bad. Good points: seems there is more grace from others (since they know that their brother or long lost friend could share something on a social media website they wouldn't want the world to see) and also that their is a bit less hypocrisy (because it is a lot easier to point out the plank in their eye with social media sources). Some people will try to keep everything perfect on social media, but that can be a full time job, so most don't.
The bad side if this? The honesty is forced, rather than coming from the desire of a person (social media just forces you to be honest about your personal life).
Secondly, photos can be deceiving. I was having a conversation with a friend recently who has a lot of "party" photos on Facebook & not much else. At first glance, it would look like she is a "party girl" but in actuality, she rarely drinks- she just happens to hang out with friends who do & that's the only time people post photos on FB. She has realized that people judge her, even though the situation is much different than it appears.
Lastly, I wonder if not all off our lives should be shared. The example of my friend reminds me that I too do not drink often, but might have a drink with some close friends sometimes. I strive to follow the guidelines the Bible lays out for us regarding drinking (do not get drunk with wine, but instead be filled with the Holy Spirit & to not eat or drink things in the presence if others which might offend or cause them to stumble). I don't believe that there is anything wrong with having a drink or drinking in moderation (we know that Jesus drank wine on multiple occasions), but I will not drink in front of anyone who it might cause to stumble or who it might offend. The problem with social media is that if someone takes a picture of me with a glass of wine next to me or maybe surrounded by people who are drinking (even if I am not), it might send a different message than intended to those who I would normally chose not to have a drink in front of.
I don't really have a solution to the problems at hand for our generation regarding this subject matter, more of just an observation. I guess the thing I can say is honesty & dialogue are the most important things for us. I am reminded that Jesus was open about drinking wine (the Bible is circulated a lot more than any of our Facebook pages) and that he modeled moderation. Dialogue is important because people make a lot of assumptions looking at pictures (some are accurate, while others are inaccurate). That is partially why I felt led to write this blog. This is a new and unique challenge for us who are members of this generation.
Whether it is about the food we eat, the drinks we drink, the people we hang with, the places we go or the things we say, it is vital that we first & foremost strive to honor The Lord in all we do.